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Monday 22 September 2014

Camilla 'devastated' as brother dies after fall in New York

Published 23/04/2014 | 18:57

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The Duchess of Cornwall as she visits Crathie Opportunity Holidays, which operates holiday cottages on a site overlooking the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire that offer self-catering accommodation for disabled people. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 15, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Camilla. Photo credit should read: David Cheskin/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall is "utterly devastated" after her brother died from a serious head injury sustained in a fall in New York.

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Mark Shand, 62, was taken to hospital on Tuesday night after reportedly slipping while lighting a cigarette and hitting his head on the pavement outside an after-party for a charity event.

Camilla, who is preparing for a high-profile tour of Canada with the Prince of Wales next month, was said to be "utterly devastated" by the news.

A Clarence House spokesman said: "It is with deep sadness that we have to confirm that the Duchess of Cornwall's brother, Mark Shand, has today passed away in New York.

"Mr Shand died in hospital as a result of a serious head injury which he sustained during a fall last night.

"The Duchess, the Prince of Wales and all her family members are utterly devastated by this sudden and tragic loss.

"Mark Shand was a man of extraordinary vitality, a tireless campaigner and conservationist whose incredible work through The Elephant Family and beyond remained his focus right up until his death."

Mr Shand was the chairman of the Elephant Family charity and is known for his work as a conservationist and travel writer.

He was in New York for an auction held at Sotheby's in aid of a charity for underprivileged children and the Elephant Family, which aims to save the endangered Asian elephant from extinction in the wild.

It was the finale for the month-long Big Egg Hunt NYC by Faberge, which saw egg sculptures sold to the highest bidder.

The charity event raised $1.6m for charity and was also attended by Princess Eugenie, according to reports.

He recently denied being in a relationship with Nancy Dell'Olio, the former girlfriend of ex-England football manager Sven Goran Eriksson.

He said: "Let me be clear, I have never had an affair with Nancy Dell'Olio. We have never dated. There is no romance; there has not been any romance, there never will be."

Describing her as a "remarkable character", he explained that he knew Dell'Olio through his charity work.

A spokesman for the Elephant Family said: "Today we have lost the head of our family. Mark Shand was a true force for conservation.

"He was both a legend and inspiration and above all our great friend.

"We ask at this time that people's thoughts are with his loved ones. We will miss him always."

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